Improving the passenger's experience and facilitating legitimate trade are key objectives of ECAC's activities in the field of facilitation, which is itself one of the strategic priorities of ECAC and is closely linked to aviation security.
ECAC's activities in the field of facilitation focus mainly on immigration matters and handling of persons with reduced mobility (PRMs). In each of these areas, ECAC provides policy guidelines and good practices to its Member States.
Air cargo transport, health issues (e.g. aircraft disinsection methods) and other related topics within this broad field (such as automated bag drop solutions, assistance to victims of aircraft accidents and their families) are also part of ECAC facilitation discussions and activities. Ad hoc workshops targeting specific facilitation topics are also organised on request by ECAC Member States.
ECAC supports the coordination of the positions of ECAC Member States participating in ICAO Facilitation Panel meetings, the last of which took place in January 2020 (FALP/11), and contributes actively to discussions at international level, particularly by providing practical proposals for amending ICAO Annex 9 and the ICAO Facilitation Manual (Doc 9957).
ECAC policy recommendations on facilitation matters are adopted by Directors General for application in all 44 ECAC Member States, and are consolidated in an ECAC document, Doc 30, Part I - ECAC Policy Statement on Civil Aviation Facilitation (12th edition/May 2018, Amendment N° 5, 7 September 2021). This document is used as a reference in the development of national regulations concerning facilitation in ECAC Member States, detailing facilitation measures adapted to the European context and including implementation guidance in its Annexes.
A dedicated working group, the Facilitation Working Group, comprising representatives from all Member States and observers from other States, organisations and industry stakeholders, meets twice a year to progress work on facilitation matters and decide on further necessary actions. The group endorses amendments to Doc 30, Part I and guidance material, and all the material goes for review and adoption to the Facilitation Programme Management Group before submission to Directors General, as necessary. The Focal Point for Facilitation and Security regularly reports on the latest developments in the field of facilitation at Directors General meetings.
The current ECAC structure in facilitation is presented in the chart below and its work is conducted in close cooperation with other international organisations (e.g. European Commission, EASA, Frontex, ICAO) and stakeholders (e.g. IATA, ACI EUROPE) as appropriate.
ECAC facilitation organisational structure